Tony-Winning Musical Memphis to Recoup $12 Million Broadway Investment
By Adam Hetrick
With 1,166 Broadway performances under its belt, the Tony Award-winning musical Memphis is set to recoup its $12 million investment when it ends its run Aug. 5 at the Shubert Theatre, producers announced July 30.
Memphis began previews Sept. 23, 2009, and officially opened on Broadway Oct. 19, 2009. When it closes Aug. 5, it will have played 30 previews and 1,166 performances. A London production is anticipated, but official dates have not been announced. A national tour launched in fall 2012 in the musical's namesake city.
Based on a concept by George W. George, Memphis is directed by Tony nominee Christopher Ashley (Xanadu, Leap of Faith) and has a Tony Award-winning book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro (Nice Work If You Can Get It; I Love You, You're Perfect...) and Tony-winning music and lyrics by David Bryan of Bon Jovi fame.
The musical won four 2010 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Original Score (David Bryan and Joe DiPietro), Best Book (DiPietro) and Best Orchestrations (Bryan and Daryl Waters).
Memphis features choreography by Sergio Trujillo (Leap of Faith, Next to Normal, Jersey Boys), scenic design by David Gallo, costume design by Paul Tazewell, lighting design by Howell Binkley and sound design by Ken Travis. Musical supervision is by Christopher Jahnke.
Memphis arrived on Broadway following developmental runs at the La Jolla Playhouse (August 2008) and Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre (February 2009). Chad Kimball and Montego Glover, who originated the leading roles of Huey Calhoun and Felicia Ferrall in those productions, earned Tony Award nominations for their work on Broadway.
Glover continues with Memphis opposite Rent Tony nominee Adam Pascal as Huey.
Here's how producers bill the musical: "Memphis takes place in the smoky halls and underground clubs of the segregated 50’s, where a young white DJ named Huey Calhoun fell in love with everything he shouldn’t: rock and roll and an electrifying black singer. Memphis is an original story about the cultural revolution that erupted when his vision met her voice, and the music changed forever."
Memphis is produced on Broadway by Junkyard Dog Productions, Barbara and Buddy Freitag and Kenny and Marleen Alhadeff with Latitude Link, Jim and Susan Blair, Demos Bizar Entertainment, Land Line Productions, Apples and Oranges Productions, Dave Copley, Dancap Productions, Inc., Alex and Katya Lukianov, Tony Ponturo, 2 Guys Productions, and Richard Winkler in association with Lauren Doll, Eric and Marsi Gardiner, Linda and Bill Potter, Broadway Across America, Jocko Productions, Patty Baker, Dan Frishwasser, Bob Bartner/Scott and Kaylin Union, Loraine Boyle/Chase Mishkin, Remmel T. Dickinson/Memphis Orpheum Group and ShadowCatcher Entertainment/Vijay and Sita Vashee.
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